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Trauma and Young Children

An extraordinary number of young children are exposed to trauma that may impact their development, health, and readiness for school. Trauma is an emotionally distressing or painful experience that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope and can result in feelings of despair and hopelessness. Trauma can lead to short- and long-term negative consequences for an individual’s functioning in daily life, health, and well-being. Early childhood education programs play an important role in reducing the impact and prevalence of trauma in young children’s lives. This entry will outline the prevalence and types of trauma experienced by young children, describe the impact that these experiences have across the life span, and explain trauma-informed care practices.

Stress and Trauma

An important developmental task in early childhood is learning to ...

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